Is wisdom tooth removal mandatory?
Wisdom tooth removal is a notorious procedure that causes pain and swelling. Some people see it as a rite of passage, but is it really necessary to remove these teeth?
The Mayo Clinic explains that for most people wisdom tooth removal will help avoid problems in the future. However, it is not always mandatory.
No removal required
You will not need to have your wisdom teeth removed if they are healthy, positioned correctly and fully grown in. They are like any other tooth in that as long as you can keep them clean, and they do not bother you, they can stay in your mouth.
A doctor who rushes to say you will have to have them removed may not be thinking of your best interests. You should always ask why the removal is necessary. You can specifically talk about the three points to see which one concerns the doctor.
If your wisdom teeth do not come in completely, they can allow for bacteria infections and lead to pain and suffering. If they fail to come in all the way, you usually will need to have them cut out.
Sometimes, your mouth is too small and the wisdom teeth lead to crowding. This can cause movement of your other teeth, impacting your bite and leading to pain. This is another case where removal is a good idea.
Finally, if they only partially come through the gums, they are more susceptible to decay because you cannot clean them properly. This will introduce infections and can be painful.
You should expect a full x-ray and examination before a doctor decides to remove your wisdom teeth. Remember that it is not always necessary, so ask why the doctor is making the recommendation.